Collapse of Ibadan Depot Heightens Concern over Fuel Shortages in South-west

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• Ex-depot price of petrol hits N143 per litre
Ejiofor Alike
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has raised the alarm that the collapse of the Ibadan Depot has heightened concern over looming fuel scarcity in some states in the South West Zone, which is under NNPC’s System 2B pipeline network.

This development is coming as IPMAN has also alleged that the ex-depot price of petrol has hit N143 per litre in some private depots in Lagos, above the recommended official price of N133.28.

Under System 2B, the most active petrol supply network, accounting for 60 per cent of fuel distribution in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pumps petrol from Atlas Cove Depot in Lagos to Ejigbo Depot also in Lagos and then to the various NNPC depots in the zone.

From Ejigbo Depot, the fuel is pumped to Mosimi Depot in Ogun State, as well as Ibadan, Ore and Ilorin Depots, where marketers load product to the various retail outlets in south west and some parts of North-central Zone.
But the collapse of Ibadan Depot, as well as the under-utilisation of Ejigbo and Ore depots has left marketers with only Mosimi Depot, which is providing skeletal services.

Chairman of Ibadan Depot Branch of IPMAN, Alhaji Raheem Rasaq Tayo told journalists yesterday that the shortage of petroleum products in the south west region has led to a situation where private depots hike prices of products at will.
According to him, the inability of the Ibadan depot to dispense product has led to high cost of product in the private depots in Lagos.

‘‘For now, private depots operators are the only major supplier of petroleum products in the South-West region. As at now now, petrol is sold for ₦143 per litre; diesel goes for ₦248 per litre and kerosene is ₦245 per litre. This price excludes transport and all other ancillary charges,” he said.

He alleged that the private depots price band does not conform with the price template approved by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) .
Tayo further stated that majority of the marketers have abandoned PPPRA’s pricing template, adding that the situation is more worrisome in Ibadan.

‘‘Unless something is done and urgently too by the federal government, our members might be forced to shut down their outlets. At the moment, many of them are running out of stock and are closing down because they cannot replenish their stock at the current market price. We appeal to the public for understanding as we can no longer can cope with the economic loss being incurred in carrying out our business, especially in this era electricity supply is poor with our members spending a chunk of of what ought to be their profit on powering generators to energise the fuel pumps,” he explained.

“This is not our making. We also appeal to the government at all levels to exercise their influence and right to ensure that Ibadan depot becomes  fully operational as this is the only way through which supply of petroleum product can be guaranteed at affordable prices,’’ he added
He urged the NNPC to allow marketers to bridge products from other depots as a means of cushioning the effect and untold hardship marketers are facing.

He also called on the Oyo State Government to look into the issue of huge taxes and levies, which he said, was impacting negatively on the operations of IPMAN members.

“A situation whereby state approval by Oyo State Government has now risen to over 10million from the initial 1.5million which our members cannot even pay can only mean one thing; that the state government is banning construction of filling stations.

Government should realize that many outlet owners are only keeping their stations hoping that things would improve. And until such a time the federal government got grip of the situation, especially the supply of petroleum products, unprofitable business would persist in the downstream sector,’’ he added.